Tyler Jones's Reviews > Catch-22

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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it was amazing
bookshelves: books-that-changed-my-life, war-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read May 30, 2000.

A word of warning - the following has more to do with my life than it has to do with the novel Catch-22. If you don't give a fig about me then just skip this.

As I mentioned in my note about War with the Newts, 1985 was the worst year of my life. I was a deeply depressed eighteen year old. My parents tried their best to help me. For my mom this meant finding me the best counselling possible, and for my dad this meant showing me that the world itself was crazy and I was quite right to feel alienated from it. He opened up to me in a way he never had before or since. He confided to being depressed himself in his youth, and even having to be hospitalized for his depression. One of the things I remember vividly is my father telling me how when he was my age he read the novel Catch-22, and that it deeply affected him. He talked about how it showed how absurd the world was and how one need to see the humour in things to survive. The truth be told, I can't remember my dad ever mentioning having read another novel. As far as I know, Catch-22 might be the only novel he ever read - or maybe it was the only novel he needed to read.

So I read it, and it said everything I needed to hear. It said "you're not crazy, they are". It said "don't buy in to what you are told is right without thinking it through." It said "you are not alone."
Catch-22 was one of the books that got me through that terrible year. It convinced me that fiction itself was important, and was a big reason why I changed from a chemistry major to an English major.

Thanks dad.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 30, 1985 – Finished Reading
Started Reading
May 30, 2000 – Finished Reading
January 15, 2010 – Shelved
January 15, 2010 – Shelved as: books-that-changed-my-life
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: war-fiction

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

definitely getting that same effect reading this. the perspective of the chaplain is both hilarious and touching, and helps you find your moral balance whether you're atheist or not. such an excellent read so far. so so liberating

message 2: by Esther (new)

Esther "a fig"... wow that made my day.

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